Regarding Maine on the occasion of its 200th anniversary of statehood, in the Boston Globe


Maine turned 200 this year, but the Bicentennial celebrations were cancelled by the pandemic, with Gov. Mills spending the official birthday, March 15, advising Mainers to lockdown to prevent the spread of the then barely understood coronavirus.

I wrote a six-part series for the Maine Sunday Telegram on statehood’s meaning that wrapped up just as Covid-19 spread into the state back in March, but I also wanted to present some key points to an external audience, one in Massachusetts in particular for reasons readers of The Lobster Coast will quickly ascertain. So in this week’s Boston Sunday Globe Ideas section, I had this essay on Maine’s experience as a colony of a colony, how it shaped our culture and people, and the ways in which the pandemic and other global developments may shake up the postcolonial trajectory my native state has long been on. Hope you enjoy.


This is my first byline in the Globe, but in September I spoke to Ideas staff writer David Sharfenberg about the battle for the national “soul” of the U.S., the topic of my most recent book, Union.

Update, 10/30/20: Bloomberg’s Boston bureau has a radio show and podcast, Bloomberg Baystate Business, and hosts Tom Moroney and Joe Shortsleeve kindly had me on the show today to talk about the phenomena described in the Globe piece. My portion starts at 0:50:32.